Monsanto and Bayer: Why Food And Agriculture Just Took A Turn For The Worse

Published on Global, by Colin Todhunter, Sept. 15, 2016.

… Monsanto held a 26 per cent market share of all seeds sold in 2011. Bayer (mainly a pharmaceuticals company) sells 17 per cent of the world’s total agrochemicals and also has a comparatively small seeds sector. If competition authorities pass the deal, the combined company would be the globe’s largest seller of both seeds and agrochemicals.  

The deal marks a trend towards consolidation in the industry with Dow and DuPont having agreed to merge and Swiss seed/pesticide giant Syngenta merging with ChemChina, a Chinese government concern.

The mergers would mean that three companies would dominate the commercial agricultural seeds and chemicals sector, down from six – Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow, Monsanto and DuPont. Prior to the mergers, these six firms controlled 60 per cent of commercial seed and more than 75 per cent of agrochemical markets.

Alarm bells are ringing with the European Commission putting its approval of the Dow-DuPont deal temporarily on hold, and the US Senate Judiciary Committee is about to hold hearings on the deal due to concerns about consolidation in the industry, which has resulted in increased seed and pesticide prices … //

… Farmers are increasingly reliant on patented corporate seeds, whether non-GM hybrid seeds or GM, and the chemical inputs designed to be used with them. Monsanto seed traits are now in 80 per cent of corn and more than 90 per cent of soybeans grown in the US. It comes as little surprise then that people in the US now consume a largely corn-based diet: a less diverse diet than in the past, which is high in calorific value, but low in health-promoting, nutrient dense food. This health-damaging ‘American obesity diet’ and the agricultural practices underpinning is now a global phenomenon.

By its very nature, the capitalist economic model that corporate agriculture is attached to demands expansion, market capture and profit growth. And, it must be accepted that it does bring certain benefits to those farmers who have remained in agriculture (if not for the 330 farmers who leave their land every week, according to data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service).

But in the US, ‘success’ in agriculture depends on over $51 billion of taxpayer handouts to over a 10-year period to keep the gravy train on track for a particular system of agriculture designed to maintain corporate agribusiness profit margins. And such ‘success’ fails to factor in all of the external social, health and environmental costs that mean this type of model is ultimately unsustainable. It is easy to spin failure as success when the parameters are narrowly defined.

Moreover, the exporting of the Green Revolution paradigm throughout the globe has been a boon to transnational seed and agrochemical manufacturers, which have benefited from undermining a healthy, sustainable indigenous agriculture and transforming it into a profitable enterprise for global capital … //

… It’s not so much the Monsanto-Bayer deal is a move in the wrong direction (which it is), but increasing consolidation is to be expected given the trend in many key sectors toward monopoly capitalism or just plain cartelism, whichever way you choose to look at it. It’s the system of industrialised, capital-intensive agriculture wedded to powerful players whose interests lie in perpetuating and extending their neoliberal economic model that is the real problem … //

… (full text).


This Photo is the Perfect Metaphor for How the Resistance Will be Won, on Waking Times, by Charles Dylan, Sept 15, 2016;

Interrail Journey: Europe Through the Eyes of the Next Generation, on Spiegel Online International, by Juan Moreno, Sept 15, 2016 (Photo Gallery): a quarter million young Europeans spent this summer rolling through the Continent on an Interrail ticket. Conversations with the travelers reveal a younger generation that understands the EU better than their elders might think;

The Complete History of Monsanto, The World’s Most Evil Corporation, on Global (first on Waking Times), by E. Hanzai, Sept 15, 2016;

The 2008 Financial Meltdown, On This Day Eight Years Ago Lehman Filed For Chapter 11 – There Have Been 672 Rate Cuts Since, on Global (first on Zero Hedge), by Tyler Durden, Sept 15, 2016;

The Corporation versus Nature, First Nation, and Local People, on Dissident Voice, by Kim Petersen, Sept 15, 2016: saying No to Corporations;

Central-South Asian Connectivity, New Security Panorama, on Indian Defence Review IDR, by K.N. Pandita, Sept 15, 2016 (MAP): long before the partition of India, famous Urdu poet Iqbal praised the Himalayas in glowing words and called it “our sentry and our protector”;

The US War On Terror Has Cost $5 Trillion And Increased Terrorism By 6,500%, on The Anti, by Darius Shahtahmasebi, Sept 14, 2016;

Did Nixon Even Read the CIA’s Daily Briefs? on National Security Archive NSA, Electronic Briefing Book No. 559, by William Burr, Sept 14, 2016:

  • Nixon’s Attention Focused on Kissinger’s Cover Memos That Packaged the PDB;
  • Recently Declassified Kissinger Memos Include Nixon’s Handwritten Comments;

Entstehen rechtsfreie Räume in der Schweiz? in Zeit-Fragen, 13. Sept 2016: Polizei fordert breite Unterstützung durch Bevölkerung und Politik;

Migration an der Schweizer Südgrenze – auch für Migranten gelten Regeln, in Zeit-Fragen, von Dr. iur. Marianne Wüthrich, 13. Sept 2016;

Les migrants à la frontière sud de la Suisse, dans Horizons et débats, par Dr. iur. Marianne Wüthrich, le 13 Sept 2016: Etat des lieux vu de Suisse;

AGAIN: – 10 biggest corporations make more money than most of world combined, on RT, Sept 13, 2016;

  • (my comment: industrial production can be democratized. Let’s create cooperatives to give access to 3D printers for every one, and learn create ourselves things we need, as in any way next we’ll be replaced by robots, receiving an unconditional basic income – Heidi);
  • (mein Kommentar: auch industrielle Warenschöpfung kann auf den Einzelnen herunter verdemokratisiert werden, um internationalen Grossunternehmen den Wind aus den Segeln zu nehmen: geben wir jedermann Zugang zu gemeinsam verwalteten 3D Druckern, damit jeder für sich oder die Gemeinschaft die benötigten Produkte herstellen kann, z.B. im Rahmen einer Genossenschaft – Heidi);

on KASHMIR and IDPs, by K.N. Pandita:

What does the strength of a country characterise? on Current Concerns, by Dr Barbara Hug, psychologist, Aug 23, 2016: Current reflections on socio-psychological processes;

… and this:

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